Inspired by Chinatown's five-buck-a-bowl hand-pulled-noodle joints, Hung Ry on Bond Street hired away some local noodle masters, internationalized and upgraded the traditional menu and ingredients, and set up shop in NoHo, hawking noodle soups for three times what you'd pay on Eldridge or East Broadway. In other words, it's the sort of place some Chowhounds love to hate. "I’m really skeptical of any type of fusion Asian cuisine," says Chinatown specialist Lau, "as 9.5 out of 10 times the result is some really bad food in some Meatpacking-type atmosphere."
Consider Lau a former skeptic. Hung Ry's duck noodle soup is "awesome," he declares, "much better than any of the Chinatown hand-pulled noodle places." What lifts it above the competition is the meat, BklynBlaise says: "absolutely delicious—perfectly pink and tender breast with crispy skin, coupled with a pile of well-caramelized shredded duck leg." Beef brisket noodle soup (with beef cheek and honeycomb tripe) stars big, tender hunks of brisket in rich broth with notes of anise and a welcome bite from mustard oil. Other decidedly un-Chinatown-ish choices include veal cheek, marrow, and liver (with Japanese sweet potato and quince); mutton sausage and liver (with salted black cabbage and persimmon); and lobster and sea trout (with sunchokes and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms).
Beyond noodles, hounds recommend appetizers like monkfish liver with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and loganberries. "As much as I love monkfish liver," BklynBlaise reports, "the star component of the dish was the earthy and deeply caramelized mushrooms." Another good bet among the starters is squid, lightly floured and fried in a way that brings to mind Cantonese "salt-baked" dishes, but finished like nothing you'll find at Noodletown or South China Garden: with guajillo chile sauce and a sprinkling of crunchy pumpkin seeds. It's "kinda crazy and damn good," says bigjeff.
The vibe is welcoming, the décor clean and modern, and even Chowhounds who don't fuss over atmospherics are settling in happily. "I still love my hole-in-the-wall hand-pulled noodle shops in Chinatown," BklynBlaise says, "but it’s nice to know that there’s a place to turn to when I want higher-quality ingredients, a nicer setting (with functioning bathrooms, thank you very much), and a menu that intrigues without breaking the bank."
Hung Ry [East Village]
55 Bond Street (near Bowery), Manhattan